Vibratory screeds eliminate the hard work usually involved with striking off concrete with a conventional straightedge. These screeds strike off, level, and consolidate the concrete all at the same time, thus saving labor and energy. They produce a smooth, flat surface that's ready for final finishing in less time and at a lower cost than for manual methods. Several types of vibratory screeds are available but the truss-type screed is the most commonly used where screed stiffness and weight are important. Trusses come in 2.5- to 12-foot-long sections that can be bolted together to meet any job requirements. The truss sections are frames, made of steel or aluminum pipes and angles, that weigh from 8 to 15 pounds per lineal foot.
The goal is to set the screed at one end, place the concrete, move the screed quickly over the concrete to the other end, and be ready for final finishing. A winch, either manual or power, is provided at each end of the screed with a cable that is stretched out and connected to the forms. Move the screed along the forms and over the concrete by using the winches. Vibrating screeds should be moved forward as rapidly as proper consolidation allows. If screed movement is too slow, too much mortar will be brought to the surface is normal-weight concrete.